Hiking is a lovely endeavor that can either be a strenuous workout or a leisurely exploration. Or a mix of both!
In celebration of the New Year, we took a hike and a walk with our Pyrenees, Bear. We started in the Arcata Community Forest, a sustainably-managed and harvested redwood forest whose trees are around 150 years old.
The first day of the New Year was a beautiful, sunny day…the trend of this year’s rainy season. I have from a good source that we are 7 inches short of rainfall this ‘water year’ [since July] and an inch down this January [already!]. While this area could be considered the start of the Pacific Northwest rainforest, the amount of rainfall can vary dramatically from year to year. Somewhere between 29 and 90 inches. Redwoods are good at dealing with variable precipitation, but in a low year, they won’t create a growth ring.
An interesting feature of the Arcata Community Forest are the remnants of giants that once towered over the land.
A popular hobby around here is mushroom hunting. I guess it’s been a rough season due to the lack of rain. Still, there are mushrooms everywhere! Like this log, for example:
We got our fill of redwoods and headed to the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a lovely place for birding and I always wish to spend more time than I do. It is actually the wastewater treatment facility for the city of Arcata and a popular place for runners, dog walkers, and birders alike!
I think this fellow is a Golden-crowned Sparrow in winter plumage.
What looks to be a very sleepy Northern Pintail. I guess you have to catch your z’s where and when you can!
The marsh is definitely a nice place to come for sunsets as well!
An avocet was enjoying the low tide, leading a group of ducks in the feeding procession.
The Avocet still working on the same stretch. Below is what Bear thinks of taking photos: